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News from the Office of Film + Music 6/29/2011


OFFICE NEWS

THE FILM, MUSIC + DIGITAL MEDIA HAPPY HOUR IS TONIGHT
Seattle Office of Film + Music
Seattle has been a growing hub for film, music and digital media over the past several years, and it is vital for these three communities to interact for our city to continue to thrive. The monthly Happy Hour offers just such an environment for people from these industries to socialize, network and build a unified community. Join us at Happy Hour tonight, June 29, from 5:00 - 7:00 at Spitfire in Belltown. See you there, Seattle!

INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES

NORTHWEST FILM FORUM INTRODUCES NEW GRANT FOR FILMMAKERS
The Northwest Film Fund
Lack of funding can put a hitch in any ambitious project. Now filmmakers living in the Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana or Alaska) can apply for the Northwest Film Fund, a grant supporting documentary film projects at any stage of completion. Applicants must be the director, co-director or producer of a film that is currently in production or pre-production. The inaugural award will be $10,000 and include 80 hours of post-production work, legal consultation, and "first look" deals with KCTS-Channel 9 and SIFF.

VALLEY VIBES JAZZ SERIES STARTS NEXT WEEK
Valley Vibes Jazz
Starting July 8, you can catch free jazz concerts at the Rainier Cultural Center as a part of the Valley Vibes Jazz Series taking place in Columbia City through November. After the performance, stick around for a post-concert reception and artist conversation that addresses topics like jazz and ethnicity, jazz and gender, jazz education, and the jazz tradition. The event is put on by SEEDArts, an organization that works to maintain the diversity of arts and cultural options in Columbia City. Wayne Horvitz's Sweeter Than the Day gets things started next week, along with the Jazz Night School Ensemble. Valley Vibes is made possible in part by funding from Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods.

SEATTLE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RECEIVES GRANT TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC PROGRAMS
Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra
The Clowes Fund recently announced that it will award Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) with a $90,000 grant to support the SYSO-in-the-Schools program. A partnership with Seattle Public Schools, the program works to expand the music curriculum at the city's elementary and middle schools. The money will be distributed over three years and help continue the programs established in several elementary schools and at Denny International Middle School.

SCCC'S FILM AND VIDEO PROGRAM AXED DUE TO BUDGET CUTS
The Stranger
On June 14, Seattle Central Community College announced that it would be cutting its celebrated film and video production program after 25 years. Due to budget issues, the publishing arts and interpreter training programs are being cut as well. Despite these cuts, tuition is set to rise 12 percent in 2012 and an additional 12 percent in 2013. The Stranger's Jen Graves spoke to current film students, film program alums and prominent figures in the Seattle film community about this major blow to the local industry.

SEATTLEITE CHOSEN FOR ROLLING STONE'S STREET TO STAGE CONTEST
Rolling Stone
Think American Idol, but replace the pop star wannabes with multi-talented buskers. That is the premise of Rolling Stone's Street to Stage contest, which puts eight street musicians from across the country against one another for a chance to perform at the Rolling Stone Rock Room in Austin, TX during what the magazine calls "one of the biggest music festivals in the nation" (we think they mean SXSW). Among the eight talented performers chosen, Carly Calbero is representing for the Emerald City. Those who frequent Pike Place Market or any summer festival has probably heard Carly's guitar skills and powerful voice wow passersby. She's also competing against six other local street performers in Battle of the Buskers. Visit the Rolling Stone website to read about Carly, see some of her live performances, submit your own photos or videos of her, and (of course) vote.

2011 NEA OPERA HONORS AWARD GENERAL DIRECTOR OF SEATTLE OPERA
National Endowment for the Arts
The 2011 NEA Opera Honors were announced last Friday at a meeting of the National Council on the Arts. Now in its fourth year, the NEA Opera Honors is the highest award our nation bestows in opera. Speight Jenkins, the general director of the Seattle Opera since 1983, was one the four honorees chosen nationwide. "These artists represent the highest level of artistic mastery and we are proud to recognize their achievements," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. Jenkins is recognized nationally as a leading authority on opera and an accomplished arts administrator. He also is known for his prolific writing about opera through reviews and articles.

NPR EXPLORES OMAHA'S MUSIC-BASED $100 MILLION CREATIVE BOOM
NPR
NPR's Planet Money and Wired Magazine have teamed up to look at the future of work in the U.S. and the factors that drive economic trends. A recent "Morning Edition" story explores Omaha, Nebraska's real estate development and how music clubs, indie rock and "hipsters" have driven this boom. The radio feature and article detail Omaha's indie music-filled past, the birthplace of Saddle Creek Records, bands like Bright Eyes and The Faint, and how the city is now experiencing a complete civic renovation with the latest trends in architecture and real estate development.

ARTSFUND AWARDS OVER TWO MILLION IN GRANTS IN 2011
Puget Sound Business Journal
The greater Seattle area's central fund-raising organization for the arts, ArtsFund, confirmed its grants total of $2.37 million for 2011. ArtsFund supports over 63 arts organizations and groups in King and Pierce counties and has successfully raised more money each consecutive year despite economic hardships nationwide. "Even though the economy in general is pulling out of the Great Recession, that recovery is slow to reach the arts. Overall, arts groups are managing extraordinarily well," said Jim Tune, ArtsFund president and CEO. The arts organizations that received the largest grants included the Seattle Opera, the Seattle Art Museum, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Symphony and the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Seattle film and music organizations from SIFF to the Vera Project receive generous grants from ArtsFund and these contributions keep their programs running strong.

HELP "KICKSTART" SEATTLE FILM AND MUSIC PROJECTS
Kickstarter is an online "crowd-funding" resource that helps musicians, filmmakers and producers of artistic projects reach out to friends and fans for financial support. Kickstarter allows artists the opportunity to give back to funders with special rewards, such as an exclusive album pre-release, a producer credit in a film, or even getting to meet the artist in person. Seattle is a hotbed for film and music projects, and you can be a pivotal part of the production process by backing a project and spreading the word. Current Seattle-based Kickstarter projects are listed below ordered by time remaining. Click on the Kickstarter buttons to check out these local projects and discover even more happening around Seattle.

Luc and the Lovingtons - Making their 2nd Album - 6/30 (1 Day Left)
The Horde and the Harem Full Length Album - 7/3 (4 Days Left)
In Between the Raindrops: A Jazz Documentary - 7/6 (7 Days Left)
Ode to Kali - 7/9 (10 Days Left)
The Waif - 7/17 (18 Days Left)
Seattle Teen Music - Volume 1 Compilation CD - 7/18 (19 Days Left)
Darkest Hour - 7/27 (28 Days Left)
Bryan John Appleby "Fire on the Vine" - 7/28 (29 Days Left)
Single in Seattle - 7/31 (32 Days Left)
The Tempers: Vol. 2 EP - 8/3 (34 Days Left)

TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 6/22 - 6/28
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).

  1. Eddie Vedder - "Ukelele Songs"
  2. Death Cab for Cutie - "Codes & Keys"
  3. Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"
  4. Head and the Heart - "Head and the Heart"
  5. Seapony - "Go With Me"
  6. Macklemore/Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
  7. Brandi Carlile - "Live at Benaroya Hall"
  8. Shabazz Palaces - "Shabazz Palaces"
  9. Grand Hallway - "Winter Creatures"
  10. My Goodness - "My Goodness"

SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
Scarecrow
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.

Almost Live! Guide to Living in Seattle (1994)
For those either too young or recently transplanted to Seattle, Almost Live! was a local sketch comedy show that ran from 1984 to 1999 on KING-5 and spawned distinguished alumni such as John Keister, Bill Nye, Pat Cashman, Lauren Weedman, Nancy Guppy and Joel McHale. This rare VHS collection from 1994 complies some of their more geographically-based sketches into a humorous primer on life in the Northwest. It begins, of course, with our desperate need for coffee. The opening scene depicts the Denny Party's arrival at Alki in 1851, where they are met by a friendly Native barista at an espresso cart. The program goes on to expound on some of our other Northwest idiosyncrasies: We are devout recyclers, consume mostly Thai food, and are as picky about microbrews as we are coffee. We wear only fleece and gortex and buy tons of recreational equipment we'll never use. The collection is also a good showcase for some of the show's best bits. "The Ballard Driving Academy" shows a wool-capped John Keister leading Bob Nelson from Mike's Chili Tavern down Ballard Avenue, instructing him on how one drives in the neighborhood (seat belt stuck out the door, left turn signal on at all times, traveling as slow as possible). "East Side Story" pits the pastel sweater-clad Bellevue Squares against the polyesterd and pre-irony trucker hat wearing Factoria Trash. It ends in a rumble in the Factoria Square parking lot where the two gangs duke it out, beef stick vs. a now hilariously oversized cell phone. And while it's not specific to Seattle, Pat Cashman in the "Roscoe's Oriental Rug Emporium" commercial is a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of Seattle landmarks captured on film. We do get a nice shot of the marquee of our neighbors Seven Gables Theatre (showing Latcho Drom, ends Tuesday!) and a look at the interior of Grand Illusion Cinema, where we learn Seattle moviegoers enjoy drinking tea and pretending to understand the pretentious pre-show lecture. Instead of showing places, the Guide ends getting us nostalgic for TV of the past, with mentions of Breakman Bill, Captain Puget, and of course J.P. Patches, who shows up in person. They also raid KING's archives for vintage Ivar's commercials and Seafair footage, which play while Keister waxes on about the city's history and "universe that continues to fade away." That's truer today than ever, but thanks to Almost Live! there will always be a bit of our collective consciousness properly satirized for future generations. The last shot is of Scandinavian humorist Stan Boreson walking along Alki, playing accordion singing "Acres of Clams." I must admit, I got a bit teary.

-Jen Koogler

MEDIA DIGEST

CITY ARTS PROFILES UNDER-THE-RADAR SUMMER FESTIVALS
City Arts
With summer upon us, festivals are also making their way into everyone's weekend schedules. City Arts has the lowdown on three summer festivals in July you may not know about. Of the featured events, two of them are music related. First up is Slack Fest, which takes place at Slime Dog Speedway near Stanwood, Washington. Fans of the Maldives, the Moondoggies, My Goodness or Whalebones will want to get tickets to this event, which was named after KEXP DJ Don Slack (who hosts the popular show Swingin' Doors). The other is the Anacortes-based What the Heck Fest, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Those who are fond of DIY bands or are familiar with K Records honcho Calvin Johnson will enjoy performances by his band, the Hive Dwellers, as well as local groups like Lake, Mount Eerie, Mecca Normal and many more.

NPR'S GRIND AND SHINE HIGHLIGHTS SEATTLE HIP-HOP SCENE
NPR Music
NPR Music's The Record, a music blog about the metaphysics of music, is curated by Ann Powers, a former Seattleite. This week, Ann is revisiting her hometown on a mission to explore something she never experienced before leaving Seattle in 2006: the local hip-hop scene (over a quintessentially Seattle cup of coffee, of course). The interview series "Grind and Shine" features prominent Seattle producers and rappers discussing their music at local cafes over beverages more diverse than the predictable cup of java. Local artists Jake One, Thig Natural, Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Metal Chocolates and Blue Scholars will share their insights over the course of the week. Locales include familiar places like Caffe Vita, Espresso Vivace and Zeitgeist Coffee.

PUBLICOLA CHRONICLES SEATTLE'S HISTORY OF REINVENTION AND HIGHLIGHTS LOCAL MUSIC SCENE
PubliCola
Seattle often gets a bad rap for being resistant to change. But this recent PubliCola article explores how our city has rolled with the punches over time, pointing out in particular how our music industry and music culture is a big part of that reinvention. Author Stephanie Pure begins by delving into the era of the Teen Dance Ordinance, which she calls "an antiquated, 80s-era law that made it hard for people under 21 to see live music and thus benefit from the community created by the city's famous music scene." The advent of the Vera Project, the all-ages music venue and community center, helped pave the way for the repealing of the Teen Dance Ordinance. The article also relates the importance of KEXP and EMP as pivotal players in perpetuating Seattle's musical identity.

Seattle Office of Film + Music Staff
James Keblas, Director
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator
Rachel White, Music + Nightlife Program Coordinator
Jonathan Hughes, Intern
Tiffany Wan, Intern

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